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South Korea, Malaysia discuss ways to boost supply chains of raw materials, economic ties

South Korea, Malaysia discuss ways to boost supply chains of raw materials, economic ties

18 May 2023

South Korea and Malaysia discussed ways to deepen bilateral economic relations and to boost cooperation on supply chains of raw materials and new industry sectors, Seoul’s industry ministry said. The discussions were made during a meeting between First Vice Industry Minister Jang Young Jin and his Malaysian counterpart Liew Chin Tong in Seoul on Thursday (May 18), said South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

During the talks, Jang called for clinching agreements on key industry materials and clean hydrogen, as well as resuming negotiations for the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), reported Yonhap news agency.

South Korea has a separate FTA with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), but it has sought to strike bilateral deals with each member to further bolster ties.

The two nations began talks on the bilateral FTA in June 2019 and held three rounds of negotiations that year, but the talks have since been stalled.

Jang also asked for the Malaysian government’s support for South Korean battery makers and other companies in the new industry sector operating in the Southeast Asian country.

“Malaysia is rich in natural resources and plays a crucial role in the global supply chains of electricity, energy, mineral and other industry fields. Stronger economic ties with Malaysia are expected to help South Korea better ensure stable supply chains and create more business chances,” the ministry said in a release.

Malaysia is the third largest trade partner of South Korea among the Asean members, with bilateral trade reaching a record high of US$26.7 billion in 2022, according to government data.

Source: Bernama